Want to shake things up: Doorways, Scouting, Caution

Stalker0

Legend
Actually it does, since Fireball does half damage on a successful Dex save. Half cover gives +2 to AC and Dex saves, 3/4 cover gives +5 to AC and Dex saves. Granted, cover won’t save a creature from taking damage from Fireball, but it will give them a better chance of reducing the damage by half, which is better than nothing.

Thing is that fireball says it goes around corners, so cover doesn't really "do anything" in this case. Its not blocking the fireball at all.
 

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Charlaquin

Goblin Queen (She/Her/Hers)
Thing is that fireball says it goes around corners, so cover doesn't really "do anything" in this case. Its not blocking the fireball at all.

Which is important for determining the affected area, but it doesn’t say it ignores cover. Cover is something you have relative to the caster, not to the spell’s area of effect.
 

Hussar

Legend
Which is important for determining the affected area, but it doesn’t say it ignores cover. Cover is something you have relative to the caster, not to the spell’s area of effect.

Wouldn't cover be counted from the initial point of the spell effect? While I do think you could have cover from a fireball (such as having a waist high wall between you and the initial point of the spell), having cover relative to the caster doesn't really matter does it?
 

jayoungr

Legend
Supporter
Even if you rule that cover affects the saving throw for a fireball (we've never played it that way due to the "going around corners" thing), there are tons of other spells that force a save. Sacred flame is another favorite, and for that one, the caster just has to be able to see the target.
 

Oofta

Legend
Wouldn't cover be counted from the initial point of the spell effect? While I do think you could have cover from a fireball (such as having a waist high wall between you and the initial point of the spell), having cover relative to the caster doesn't really matter does it?

It's in the PHB under Spells/Cover

A spell's effect expands in straight lines from the point of origin. If no unblocked straight line extends from the point of origin to a location within the area of effect, that location isn't included in the spell's area. To block one of these imaginary lines, an obstruction must provide total cover, as explained in chapter 9.​
 

Charlaquin

Goblin Queen (She/Her/Hers)
Wouldn't cover be counted from the initial point of the spell effect? While I do think you could have cover from a fireball (such as having a waist high wall between you and the initial point of the spell), having cover relative to the caster doesn't really matter does it?

I suppose that makes sense. I’m not sure it’s supported by the rules, but it’s a perfectly reasonable ruling to make.
 
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Stalker0

Legend
If no unblocked straight line extends from the point of origin to a location within the area of effect, that location isn't included in the spell's area. .[/INDENT]

Holy Triple Negative Batman! What a terrible sentence grammar wise (I actually assumed you had mistyped it an double checked my PH).


What this sentence is actually saying is this: A location is included within the area of effect if an unblocked straight line extends from it to the point of origin.
 

Harzel

Adventurer
Actually it does, since Fireball does half damage on a successful Dex save. Half cover gives +2 to AC and Dex saves, 3/4 cover gives +5 to AC and Dex saves. Granted, cover won’t save a creature from taking damage from Fireball, but it will give them a better chance of reducing the damage by half, which is better than nothing.

Which is important for determining the affected area, but it doesn’t say it ignores cover. Cover is something you have relative to the caster, not to the spell’s area of effect.

Wouldn't cover be counted from the initial point of the spell effect? While I do think you could have cover from a fireball (such as having a waist high wall between you and the initial point of the spell), having cover relative to the caster doesn't really matter does it?

As @Oofta points out, it is RAW that cover is determined from the spell's point of origin. Although I, too, had the initial impulse to grant the DEX saving throw bonus to cover even to Fireball, it seems like that cannot have been the authors' intent, since it leaves you with the following quandary. Because Fireball goes around corners*, a creature can have full cover from Fireball, but still be in its area-of-effect. So if you give the +2/+5 bonus for half/three-quarters cover, what do you do with that creature that has full cover?

You can certainly come up with solutions. For instance, you could grant auto-success on the save. But at that point, you are clearly ruling/house-ruling.

EDIT: Also, granting the DEX save bonuses for Fireball​ means that the "goes around corners" property makes no difference in the partial cover situations, which seems odd.

* While thinking about this a while back, I noted that the use of the word "corners" is itself problematic. I'm pretty sure the intent is that spells like Fireball spread around rounded obstacles, too, such as a pillar, which don't have corners. I do wish the 5e authors had been attentive enough to use more precise language at least in the cases when doing so would not have cost them any word count and would have made their actual intent clearer.
 
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Oofta

Legend
As @Oofta points out, it is RAW that cover is determined from the spell's point of origin. Although I, too, had the initial impulse to grant the DEX saving throw bonus to cover even to Fireball, it seems like that cannot have been the authors' intent, since it leaves you with the following quandary. Because Fireball goes around corners*, a creature can have full cover from Fireball, but still be in its area-of-effect. So if you give the +2/+5 bonus for half/three-quarters cover, what do you do with that creature that has full cover?

You can certainly come up with solutions. For instance, you could grant auto-success on the save. But at that point, you are clearly ruling/house-ruling.

EDIT: Also, granting the DEX save bonuses for Fireball​ means that the "goes around corners" property makes no difference in the partial cover situations, which seems odd.

* While thinking about this a while back, I noted that the use of the word "corners" is itself problematic. I'm pretty sure the intent is that spells like Fireball spread around rounded obstacles, too, such as a pillar, which don't have corners. I do wish the 5e authors had been attentive enough to use more precise language at least in the cases when doing so would not have cost them any word count and would have made their actual intent clearer.

I give cover bonuses for fireball, to have complete cover you'd have to be completely blocked from the point of origin with no significant path. So probably in another room with a closed door or similar But that's just my ruling/house rule and I can certainly see that going the other way is probably sticking more closely to the letter of the rules.
 

Well, this is a bit off-topic, however I think the "fireball goes around corners" is, in my opinion, more talking about its effect in hallways, not around cover. Think about it this way: fire in this instance can be considered a fluid with how it moves from the point of origin. So if you burst a pipe in Hallway A, that flow is going to continue around the corner into Hallway B, not just stop at the end of the hallway. However, around surfaces like columns, low walls, etc ("cover" for this purpose) the flow will be interrupted, if only some. It would create an area where the flow of the liquid had less force, therefore the higher bonus granted to the DEX saving throw. Just in this instance it's fire. So instead of getting hit fully from the fire, you instead get burned due to your proximity, but not as much as if you were in the fire. So I think scientifically speaking, it makes some amount of sense.

However this is a not a realistic simulation game, so however you interpret the rules here, go with that. But from my point of view I would say the "goes around corners" does not to me suggest that Fireball actually ignores cover.
 

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